Privacy matters

"Other than unannounced visits, the other thing which my friends and relatives often do is: cancel scheduled visits, either without intimating me in advance or by calling off the visit at the eleventh hour"

More often, a friend of mine drops in at my office, and home with a vibe of giving me a surprise. There are several relatives too, who text me of their presence when they are outside. The other day, I was reading New York Times popular Social Q’s, when a question attracted me:

I’m getting married and moving in with my partner, and it’s exhilarating! My mother-in-law frequently stops by during the day and either texts me or rings the bell, and I think that this infringes on my privacy. I don’t want my mother-in-law to snatch my towel when I’m wearing it and walking around unwatched, and my partner was unable to inform her prior to her arrival. How can I establish some boundaries without making her feel bad?

There are three possible solutions to this problem:

Solution No 1

If your mother-in-law has trouble understanding the concept of privacy or respecting boundaries, she may have Alzheimer’s or dementia. In that case, you may need to take additional precautions to protect her, such as locking her car keys in the glove box or installing a GPS tracking system in her vehicle. If she doesn’t have a mental illness, you can set boundaries and consequences for breaking them.

Solution No 2

She doesn’t appear to be aware that you’ve moved in together, and that you’ve become a family unit. She may not be malicious, but she may be unaware that you have moved in together and that your privacy is now shared. You should talk to her about it and explain that you are now living together as a family unit and have shared privacy as a couple.

Solution No 3

It’s natural for a parent to want to visit their child frequently; they’re concerned about their child’s well-being and want to ensure that they’re settling in well. However, it is natural for a young adult to desire privacy. She may not want to be watched while getting ready in the morning, or she may not want her mother to interrupt her while she is doing something.

Regardless of these foreign issues, often we see our privacy breached by the unannounced visits of friends and relatives. At my office, I also receive a call from the gate that a Mr X wants to be interviewed for a job. This all happens when I am in the middle of something important. I ask the gateman to ask the person if he has set a prior appointment to meet me.

No.

Does the man have any experience in journalism?

No.

Does he have a flavor of writing?

Hmm, yes.

Well, I will ask the man to mail me his writing samples, and I will evaluate his value to my organization.  The conversation ends. Meanwhile, I lost concentration on what I was doing. This happens in our part of the world, if not every day, every other day. I am certain this happens to all of my readers, well, a majority of them might suffer from such unannounced visits.

Other than unannounced visits, the other thing which my friends and relatives often do is: cancel scheduled visits, either without intimating me in advance or by calling off the visit at the eleventh hour. “The eleventh hour” is an English idiom that means the last moment or almost too late. In most cases, the call comes at the last minute and they are unable to make a visit for a reason, which is beyond our control.

On such occasions, I only smile, and say: “Well, I’m going to visit you tomorrow and will call off the visit just at the eleventh hour.”

More often, a friend of mine drops in at my office, and home with a vibe of giving me a surprise. Well, it is not a surprise. It is a shock.

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